Archive for the ‘tofu sandwiches’ Category
The recession might be technically over - or on the cusp of ending - but people are still watching how they spend their greenbacks.
Remember those heady days in the mid to late 1990s when some Silicon Valley entrepreneurs would spend $100 on a bottle of wine for lunch?
Well, fast forward a decade and enter the economical Vietnamese sandwich scene with its crunchy French rolls in Seattle’s International District.
One place that draws crowds is Saigon Deli. It sells its popular Banh Mi sandwiches with pork (grilled or shredded), ham, meatballs, chicken or tofu from $2 to $2.50 per piece.
That’s nearly half the price of some Vietnamese restaurants in the suburbs.
I opted for the tofu.
In terms of complexity, these tofu sandwiches bathed in a green onion-and-ginger sauce rank up there. At least for me.
The preparation took at least two hours – much longer than I thought.
But this dish, in the end, was fantastic. It combines crispy, pan-fried firm tofu with the subtle flavors of the green onion and ginger.
It’s worth serving family members and special guests. Really.
They might think you’ve enrolled in some fabulous Chinese cooking class.
The thinking behind these bean curd sandwiches from Chef Fu Pei-Mei is layered and sophisticated. She published her recipe in Pei Mei’s Chinese Cook Book Volume II, which is in English and Chinese.
My wife, Dan, and I used ground turkey to keep the fat content low. Chicken and pork are other options. If you don’t prefer meat, you can leave it out.
I’m used to some cooks stuffing tofu with meat or seafood and then frying it.
But Fu adds an extra step: By adding the stuffed tofu in a sauce of onions, ginger and chicken broth, you cook the bean curd for a second time.
From the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, Fu Pei-Mei demonstrated more than 600 recipes on her television cooking show in Taiwan. Photo printed in Pei Mei's Chinese Cook Book Volume II. Copyright Chiu-Yu Printing Co. Ltd.
She has been described as the Julia Child of the Chinese culinary world.
Over her nearly 40-year televised career in Taiwan, Fu Pei-Mei demonstrated how to cook more than 4,000 Chinese dishes.
She was fluent in Mandarin, Japanese and English. She traveled the world, and particularly in Asia, to help others improve their gastronomical skills.
I came across one of her cook books, Pei Mei’s Chinese Cook Book Volume II, as I do other things in life. I stumbled upon it. I was visiting my parents in California and grabbed it to read at home.
I thought it was a cookbook that I bought in Hong Kong or Southern China years ago.